Fiat Automobiles

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Fiat Automobiles S.p.A.
Subsidiary
S.p.A
Industry Automotive
Founded 11 July 1899; 118 years ago (11 July 1899) in Torino, Piemonte, Italy
Founder Giovanni Agnelli
Headquarters Torino, Piemonte, Italy
Area served
Worldwide except Australia & New Zealand
Key people
John Elkann (President)
Olivier François (CEO)
Products Automobiles
Production output
1,455,650 units (2010)[1]
Owner Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Parent FCA Italy
Website Fiat.com

Fiat Automobiles S.p.A. (FIAT, Italian: Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, lit. 'Italian Automobiles Factory, Turin') is the largest automobile manufacturer in Italy, a subsidiary of FCA Italy S.p.A., which is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Fiat Automobiles S.p.A. was formed in January 2007 when Fiat reorganized its automobile business,[2] and traces its history back to 1899 when the first Fiat automobile was produced. Fiat has also been involved in weapons manufacture such as the Fiat–Revelli Modello 1914

Presence[edit]

Europe[edit]

Fiat Punto
Fiat Panda

Fiat's main market is Europe, mainly focused in Italy. Historically successful in citycars and supermini sector, currently Fiat has a range of models focused on those two segments (in 2011, those accounted for the 84% of its sales). Fiat does not currently offer any large family car, nor an executive car - these market segments have, to some extent been covered by the Lancia and Alfa Romeo brands, which Fiat also owns.

Fiat's share of the European market shrank from 9.4 per cent in 2000 to 5.8 per cent in the summer of 2004. At this point Sergio Marchionne was appointed as Fiat's chief executive. By March 2009 their market share had expanded to 9.1 per cent.[3]

Fiat built their five-story Lingotto plant in 1915 through 1918, at the time it was Europe's largest car manufacturing plant.[4] Later the Mirafiori plant was built, also in Turin. To prepare for production of the all-new Fiat 128, Fiat opened their Rivalta plant in October 1968. Until the 128 entered production, the plant was used to build sports versions of the 850 and 124 as well as parts for the Fiat Dino.[5]

Fiat's 2017 range of passenger car engines comprised eleven units, eight petrols and three diesels.[6] Their current range of models is the following:


Fiat sales in 2011 were up to 676,704 (less 17.3% versus the previous year):[7]

Model 2011 sales
Fiat Punto 220,343
Fiat Panda 189,527
Fiat 500 156,301
Fiat Linea 35,499
Fiat Bravo 31,673
Fiat Sedici 14,777
Fiat Freemont 13,651
Fiat Albea 8,951
Fiat Idea 5,982

Light commercial vehicles are sold in Europe under the brand Fiat Professional.

Fiat was importing cars to the UK market by the outbreak of World War II in 1939 (with the two countries on opposite sides), but its market share increased rapidly during the 1970s, with the 127 supermini and 128 range of small family cars being the biggest sellers, selling largely on practicality and efficiency. Its market share increased further during the 1980s with the Fiat Uno (imported to the UK from June 1983) being the company's best seller in the UK, and its share fell sharply in the early 1990s before the arrival of the Punto in March 1994 rejuvenated the company's UK fortunes. The second generation Punto was a strong seller in the UK after its October 1999 launch, but the new modern day Fiat 500 (launched there in January 2008) has accounted for most of the company's UK sales in more recent years. The original Fiat 500 had been one of the few direct competitors for the iconic Mini during its 1960s heyday.[8]

South America[edit]

Fiat Uno, specifically developed for Brazilian market

Fiat has invested for a long time in South America, mainly in Brazil (where has been the market leader for many years) and in Argentina. They built their first Brazilian car plant in the Greater Belo Horizonte city of Betim in 1973, after having begun by building tractors there.[9]

The Brazilian range is similar to European one, with the addition of a special family which derives from a common platform (called "Project 178"): Palio Weekend, Palio Adventure, Strada.

Recently a range of new models developed in Brazil has been launched: Uno, Palio, Grand Siena, Fiorino.

Other European models are currently imported to Brazil: Fiat 500.

Fiat sells in Brazil under the Fiat brand, European Fiat Professional light commercial vehicles as:

United States[edit]

Fiat re-entered the North American market in 2011 with the new Fiat 500

Fiat has a long history in the United States. In 1908, the Fiat Automobile Co. was established in the country and a plant in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.,[10][11] began producing Fiats a year later, like the Fiat 60 HP and the Fiat 16-20 HP.[12] These luxury cars were produced long before Chrysler Corp. was formed in 1925 from older manufacturers that were acquired by Walter P. Chrysler, the founder.[13] The New Jersey factory was closed when the U.S. entered World War I in 1917.

Fiat returned to North America in the 1950s, selling the original 500, Fiat 600 Multipla, Fiat 1100, Fiat 1200, and the Fiat 1300.[14] The company name Fiat was sometimes used as a jocular backronym for 'Fix it again Tony', referring to poor reliability and problems, such as rust, which some Fiat models suffered in the 1970s and 1980s. Models produced in those years include the Fiat 124 Sport Spider and the Fiat X1/9.[15][16][17] Partly as a result, Fiat sales in the US fell from a high of 100,511 cars in 1975 to 14,113 in 1982.[16] In 1983, Fiat left the United States car market with a reputation for poor quality cars in North America.[18][18][19]

In January 2009, the Fiat Group acquired a 20% stake in US automaker Chrysler LLC.[20] The deal saw the return of the Fiat brand to North America after a 25-year absence. The first Fiat-branded model to appear in the US was the internationally popular Fiat 500 city car. The Fiat 500 model is built at Chrysler's assembly plant in Toluca, Mexico, which currently makes also the Dodge Journey and Fiat Freemont crossovers.[21] Fiat is also selling their commercial vehicles Fiat Ducato and Fiat Doblò in North America, rebranded as Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City respectively.

Africa[edit]

Fiat passenger cars began assembly in South Africa in 1950, and full production in their Rosslyn plant commenced in 1966.[22] Sales reached a peak market share of about five percent around 1970 but then dropped precipitously. A new 128-based half-ton pickup truck helped turn the situation around.[23] It also assembled in Egypt through El-Nasr Automotive Manufacturing Company which assembled FIAT brands 125-127-128

Asia[edit]

Fiat's presence in Chinese market is limited compared to its European, Japanese, Korean and American rivals. At the beginning of 2012, Fiat was only importing Fiat Bravo and Fiat 500 model. However, in 2012 Fiat and GAC opened a Joint Venture plant to produce the first Fiat vehicle specifically developed for Chinese market ever: the Fiat Viaggio, a compact car derived by another model of Fiat SpA group, the Dodge Dart (in turn derived by another Fiat Group car, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta).

Fiat currently offers to Japanese consumers the 500 in both coupe and convertible bodystyles, and the Panda. Both vehicles are in compliance with Japanese Government dimension regulations affording the Japanese public to purchase a non-Japanese vehicle without having to pay an annual tax for driving a car that exceeds the regulations.

Fiat is also present in the Indian market since 1948. Current presence is in Joint Venture with Tata Motors, although current car sales (Fiat is currently offering the Fiat Punto and Fiat Linea) are niche market and limited (approx. 20k units in 2011).

Current production[edit]

Western countries markets[edit]

Fiat 500L
Fiat Freemont

The Fiat 500 (Italian: cinquecento, Italian pronunciation: [ˌtʃiŋkweˈtʃɛnto]) is a car produced by the Fiat company of Italy between 1957 and 1975, with limited production of the Fiat 500 K estate continuing until 1977. The car was designed by Dante Giacosa. Redesigned in 2007, it is currently distributed worldwide.

The Fiat Panda is a city car from the Italian automotive manufacturer Fiat. Current version is the third one distributed as from 2012.

The third generation Fiat supermini to bear the name Punto, codenamed Project 199, the Grande Punto was unveiled at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show and went on sale later that year. Styled by Giugiaro, the car is based on the Fiat/GM SCCS platform. Whilst the model shares some of its name with the previous Punto, a large number of its components are new, including a new chassis and body shell. After facelift in 2009 it was named as Punto Evo and sold as bare Punto name.

The Fiat 500L enlarges, as from September 2012, the Fiat 500 family with a Mini MPV which replace the Fiat Idea. The model is produced in the new Fiat plant in Serbia. The platform is the same of the Fiat Punto.[24]

Emerging markets (production in Europe)[edit]

Emerging markets (production in South America)[edit]

  • Fiat Argo (Project X6H)

Argo is the car that is going to replace Fiat Palio, Punto, and Bravo for the Brazilian Market produced in Betim - MG Brazil

  • Fiat New Sedan (Project X6S)

The new sedan is going to be produced in Argentina in Cordoba and is going to be in the place of Siena and Grand Siena.

  • Fiat New pickup (Project X6P)

The new pickup will took place of Strada, but the project is on hold.

Palio Weekend
  • Fiat Palio

The Fiat Palio is a supermini designed by Fiat as a world car, aimed at developing countries. The Palio Weekend is a small family car station wagon; an extended version of the hatchback Palio.

  • Fiat Grand Siena
Grand Siena

The Fiat Grand Siena is the four-door sedan version of the second generation of the Fiat Palio, a small family car especially designed for developing countries.

European Cars of the Year[edit]

The European Car of the Year award has been awarded twelve times to the Fiat Group over the last forty years, more than any other manufacturer. Nine of these awards were won by Fiat Automobiles models. Fiat models awarded the title:

CO2 emissions[edit]

Fiat Automobiles, one of Europe's 10 best-selling automotive brands, has for the second year running been confirmed as having the lowest average value for CO2 emissions from vehicles sold in 2008: 133.7 g/km (137.3 g/km in 2007). This was corroborated by JATO, a provider of automotive data.[26]

Electric vehicles[edit]

Fiat started development of electric vehicles back in the mid 1970s, with the concept Fiat X1/23. More recently in 2008, Fiat showed the Phylla concept,[27] and the Fiat Bugster concept in Brazil.[28]

Fiat joined utility companies Cemig and Itaipu to develop new electric vehicles for Brazil, with production in 2009 of the Palio Weekend Electric.[29]

Fiat launched the electric 500e in California in 2013, but no sales were planned for Europe.[30] Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne claimed in 2014 that each one was sold at a loss of $14,000.[31]

Concept vehicles[edit]

Motorsport[edit]

In 1971 the Fiat 124 Sport Spider was prepared for the World Rally Championship when Abarth became involved with its production and development and from 1972 had relative success with two wins in 1972, one in 1973 and won 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the 1974 Portuguese TAP Rally.[35]

The Fiat 131 Abarth was a very successful rally car replacing the 124. Between 1976 and 1981 the Fiat 131 won 18 World Rally Championship events,[36] and winning the WRC three times: in 1977, 1978, and in 1980.[37]

Lancia took over the role of motorsport for the Fiat Group during the 1980s. After a long break of factory-supported entries, in 2003 a Fiat Punto S1600 won the Italian Rally Championship, and 2006 the Fiat Grande Punto S2000 won the FIA European Rally Championship,[38] followed by three successive wins in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Marketing[edit]

[edit]

Fiat logo used from 1968 to 1999

The FIAT initials were first used in the distinctive logo form 1901.[39] Beginning in 1931, the company began using a single red shield without a wreath. In 1968 the "rhomboid" logo (as it was known internally) was introduced which featured the FIAT initials spelled out on four interconnected rhombuses. The rhomboid was slowly phased in during the early 1970s, although the older "laurel wreath" style FIAT badge was used to denote sporting models such as the 124 Spider, 127 Sport, X1/9 and the tuned Abarth models. A new corporate nose based on the rhomboid logo was first introduced in 1983 on the Uno, which consisted of five chrome bars inclined at an angle of 18 degrees to mirror the rhomboid, which usually appeared in reduced size at the corner of the grille.

In 1999 the wreath style logo was re-introduced to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the company.

Motor Village and flagship stores[edit]

Fiat launched its Motor Village flagship store concept in 2006, with its Mirafiori Motor Village in Turin, followed by London's on Wigmore Street in 2008[40] and Paris's on the Champs-Élysées in 2010.[41]

BSM-Fiat deal[edit]

In 2009, BSM (the British School of Motoring) ended a 16-year relationship with Vauxhall Motors and signed a deal with Fiat UK to swap its learner vehicle from the Vauxhall Corsa to the new Fiat 500. Fiat UK will supply 14,000 cars to BSM over four years in a marketing deal.[42]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WORLD MOTOR VEHICLE PRODUCTION" (PDF). oica.net. 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Hussain, Aijaz (23 January 2007). "Fiat SpA reorganizes auto business, changes name to Fiat Group Automobiles". AP Worldstream. Retrieved 22 September 2009. 
  3. ^ "Fix it again, Sergio — and then fix the rest of 'em". The Irish Times. 6 May 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  4. ^ Eyewitness Travel: Italy. DK. 2005. pp. 26–27. ISBN 1-4053-0781-1. 
  5. ^ Becker, Clauspeter (1971), Logoz, Arthur, ed., "Fiat 128", Auto-Universum 1971 (in German), Zürich, Switzerland: Verlag Internationale Automobil-Parade AG, XIV: 88 
  6. ^ "Theme: Engines – a survey of Fiat´s 2004 and 2014 ranges". Driven To Write. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  7. ^ "New Vehicle Registrations: Provisional Figures (ACEA Press Releases)". ACEA. 15 January 2012. Archived from the original on 25 August 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "Fiat: Italy's industrial giant". CAR (South Africa). Ramsay, Son & Parker (Pty) ltd. p. 65. 
  10. ^ "American built Fiats". American-automobiles.com. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  11. ^ Location of Fiat Poughkeepsie factory Archived 18 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ American built Fiats
  13. ^ "Anyone less than 30 years old probably never has seen -- or at least doesn't remember seeing -- a Fiat automobile in the flesh.". bankrate.com. Retrieved 22 September 2009. 
  14. ^ http://vintage-original-ads.com/Pictures/albums/uploads/1958-Fiat-Captured-America-Hoffman-ad.jpg
  15. ^ Nelson D Schwartz (25 April 2009). "Would Detroit Sound Any Better in Italian?". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 December 2009. 
  16. ^ a b "Fiat Finito". Time (magazine). 31 January 1983. Retrieved 21 September 2009. 
  17. ^ Krisher, Tom (31 January 1983). "Problems of old Chrysler linger at 'new' Chrysler, US". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 September 2009. 
  18. ^ a b Szczesny, Joseph R. (1 May 2009). "Can Americans Learn to Love Fiat? Chrysler Hopes So". Time (magazine). Retrieved 19 September 2009. 
  19. ^ Lo Vecchio, Roberto (27 August 2009). "Fiat-Chrysler I PRIMI CENTO GIORNI DI MARCHIONNE". Quattroruote. Archived from the original on 31 August 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2009. 
  20. ^ "Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Chrysler by Fiat". europa.eu. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
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  23. ^ Wilkins, p. 67
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  28. ^ "Fiat Bugster A Plug-In Electric Car | Other Motorsports". Auto Racing Daily. 16 November 2008. Archived from the original on 22 February 2009. Retrieved 27 April 2009. 
  29. ^ "Meet the First Electric Car Produced in South America: Brazil's Fiat Palio Weekend". Treehugger. 14 July 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  30. ^ "Fiat 500e most efficient electric car in the USA". Autocar. Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  31. ^ "Sergio Marchionne asks customers not to buy Fiat 500e". Auto Express. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  32. ^ "Fiat Turbina". 
  33. ^ "Fiat Abarth 2000". 
  34. ^ "Fiat Firepoin (1994)". 
  35. ^ Giacosa, John Tipler ; foreword by Dante (1993). Fiat & Abarth 124 Spider & coupé. Godmanstone, England: Veloce Pub. Plc. ISBN 1-874105-09-X. 
  36. ^ "Fiat Manufacturer Profile & Rally History". rallye-info.com. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  37. ^ "Walter Röhrl". rallybase.nl. Retrieved 3 July 2007. 
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  41. ^ "Fiats join Jeeps in Paris for first time in Fiat-owned store". Automotive Europe. 8 July 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  42. ^ Mortished, Carl (28 July 2009). "Cheeky Italian Fiat takes British out of BSM as Vauxhall is dumped". The Times. London. Retrieved 5 December 2009. 

External links[edit]